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David Ripley: Grieving for a Hurting Nation

January 22nd, 2016 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Today marks the 43rd year in which America has been shackled by an edict which allows for the mechanized destruction of some 4,000 innocent babies every day. The official total is something like 58 million babies lost to abortion – but that figure understates the carnage by a considerable degree.

A day like today is one in which we should take stock of the price being paid by this great nation for legalized abortion. The great scandal of organ harvesting revealed last year is an alarming sign of the darkening of America’s soul. Of course it is ghoulish to imagine Planned Parenthood chopping babies in the back room in exchange for Lamborghinis. Yet we must ask: Where is all the money coming from?

Behind the curtain of Planned Parenthood scandal is the mountains of money being spent to procure organs and tissue from tiny human beings who could not defend themselves. Presumably “respectable” companies and institutions are using these babies as organ farms to pursue research that once would have been widely denounced as clearly unethical. Does not the silence point to a coarsening of the American conscience?

Yet there are signs of awakening, as well: The U.S. Congress has finally had its fill of financing America’s largest abortion provider. The number of abortion clinics is at an historic low. Planned Parenthood is having serious trouble recruiting new abortionists. And the number of pro-Lifers continues to grow.

That strength will be on display today as the national March for Life takes place in the midst of a big winter storm. Snowflakes or not – tens of thousands of Americans will stand up for those who cannot defend themselves. That march offers the nation an invitation to repentance, to healing, to real freedom. May the Lord amplify those voices raised today and awake a people in need of healing.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Presidential Politics | No Comments »

Richard Larsen: Martin Luther King and His Far-reaching Impact

January 21st, 2016 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

Some people take umbrage at the fact that Martin Luther King, Jr. has a holiday dedicated to his remembrance, while none of our founders, or even presidents, do. I am not among them. In many ways, MLK epitomizes the founding principles the nation was based on, for they, along with his theological convictions, comprised his core belief system.

As we celebrate the 87th anniversary of his birth, acknowledgement of his contributions to civil rights and peaceful demonstration for just causes is just a portion of what the man represented. His insights on freedom, work, selflessness, and morality apply equally to all Americans, regardless of political orientation, race, or creed.

Perhaps that was the key to his enduring legacy – not just that he advanced civil rights, but that he taught and expounded precepts that transcended the great social divide of his time. Perhaps there is as much for us to learn from those teachings in transcending and bridging the divisions of our time.

To him, everything revolved around freedom. “I say to you that our goal is freedom, and I believe we are going to get there because however much she strays away from it, the goal of America is freedom. Abused and scorned though we may be as a people, our destiny is tied up in the destiny of America.” This may seem ostensibly a self-evident truth, but the concept is increasingly foreign to too many of us as we look continually to government for solutions, at the expense of individual liberty to choose and to act.

He also stated, “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.” When we realize that much of what’s done in the name of government is oppressive to freedom, it’s increasingly evident that as an electorate we must needs rise up in opposition to freedom-inhibiting laws and regulations, and demand redress.

“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom,” he declared on another occasion. Individual and universal freedom was everything to him, without regard to ethnicity or other contradistinction. He advocated freedom, as opposed to government programs that diminish the freedom to build, achieve, to be rewarded for those achievements, and to succeed.

He often talked about how critical it was for all Americans to have a job. To him, a good job was ennobling, and built character. “All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.” A working society was a free society, for without work, one becomes the ward of the state and loses their individual freedom to become and do.

He was so critical of those whose entire focus was on themselves and their own self-interests. And he made no distinction between the personal and the private; the political and the individual. Said he, “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” And as if to underscore this notion, “Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.” Clearly those who engage in identity politics for their personal aggrandizement are not looking at the greater good for society and America.

He always emphasized doing, and acting on principles. It wasn’t enough to echo the refrains of freedom, one had to work for them. And at times he seemed to echo the sentiments of Edmund Burke, the English philosopher who said “All that is needed for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing,” King’s version was, “History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.” How can one claim ownership of great precepts, and not be willing to act on them?
“When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Clearly, to King, all lives matter!

The Reverend was a highly principled man, driven by truths and fundamental values. He referred often to those values. “If we are to go forward, we must go back and rediscover those precious values – that all reality hinges on moral foundations and that all reality has spiritual control.” Some of those values were the very foundational principles upon which the nation was founded, that he found lacking in their application to all American equally.

He was not a perfect man. None are. Yet he advanced a commitment to “moral foundations” and “spiritual control” which he saw as critical for society as a whole, and can only be accomplished by each of us dong our part.

I think he would concur with General Douglas MacArthur, a great student of history, who declared, “History fails to record a single precedent in which nations subject to moral decay have not passed into political and economic decline. There has been either a spiritual awakening to overcome the moral lapse, or a progressive deterioration leading to ultimate national disaster.”

Although an icon of the civil rights movement, Martin Luther King was not single-dimensional. He called upon all citizens, regardless of ethnicity, religious convictions, or socio-economic status, to do their part for the benefit of society and the country. It’s wholly fitting to have a holiday dedicated to his memory and teachings. And the nation would be better off if more effort were expended in adherence to his precepts.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, Pocatello Issues, Politics in General, Presidential Politics | No Comments »

Rep. Tom Loertscher: House Highlights, Jan. 17

January 17th, 2016 by Halli

by Rep. Tom Loertscher, R-Bone

Due to all of the press reports that have been circulating before the legislative session started this year I have been repeatedly asked if this would be a short session. My response has been that you can’t use short and session in the same sentence.

As is the case every year the first thing on the agenda is to hear from the governor. He spoke more optimistically than some years especially in light of revenues that have been coming in stronger than expected. He outlined a robust increase in education spending both in K-12 and higher education, somewhere in the $150 Million range. He also put an item in his budget to create another community college to replace Eastern Idaho Technical College in Idaho Falls. Given that it will require local voters to approve such a move, and given that it has failed locally in the past it will be interesting to see how that would come to pass.

One of the more creative things he proposed is a four year freeze on tuition for college students. Can you say “administration nightmare?” The devil is always in the details.

After the speech each year he has a punch and cookie event in his office for all legislators. I told him that he had outlined pretty ambitious budget plans and he said, “Tom, we have the money.” While that may be true, reversals can happen very fast and some I have talked with want to make sure we don’t overdo it.

Leadership decided to have a training session for all of us entitled “Civil Discourse.” They began the meeting by telling us that this did not mean that we are not civil in how we do things in Boise. Even if we do behave civilly with each other and the public we can always stand improvement. I found it helpful while others around this place not so much. We’ll see if we learned anything as the session progresses.

State Affairs this week lived up to its reputation by introducing a ban on powdered alcohol and by not introducing a bill for the Public Utilities Commission. There are not many who have heard of powdered alcohol but our liquor control people are telling us it is becoming a problem. As for the PUC bill, it will be back in some form.

Other items that are out on the horizon but not yet drafted are a couple of ideas for constitutional amendments, so called constitutional concealed carry legislation, on-line voter registration, horse racing, and some other liquor issues. Needless to say there is no shortage in the number ideas for new laws around these halls.

So how long will the session be this year? The honest answer is that no one knows for sure. The only thing we are required to do by our constitution is to adopt a budget and it must be balanced. But I can promise you that there will be somewhere in the neighborhood of three hundred new laws to consider, and thankfully not all will become law.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Rep. Tom Loertscher, Taxes | No Comments »

Richard Larsen: Independent Voters, America Needs YOU!

January 15th, 2016 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

The final word to escape the lips of William Wallace of “Braveheart” fame was “Freedom!” The scene still today sends chills down my spine, and arouses a profound sense of gratitude for the freedoms we have in America, even with their gradual erosion that we’ve witnessed over the past 240 years. Even as William Wallace was willing to give his all for freedom, so likewise Republicans in America are generally committed to the ideological foundation of our republic: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We implore independent voters to side with the cause of liberty and individual freedom.

With that said, the Republican Party is no more monolithic than the Democrat Party is. There are elements within both parties that are more or less conservative or progressive. Those of us who are more conservative align ourselves ideologically with the classical liberals of the 18th century who founded this nation, again based on the Lockean Creed and embedded in our founding documents. These are the principles that have made America unique, and it is our conviction that this legacy must be perpetuated for the republic and American exceptionalism to survive.

As classical liberals, we acknowledge that the more government grows and encroaches into our individual lives, the more our individual freedom and liberty is diminished. It was this principle that Benjamin Franklin referred to when he stated, “Those who would sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither.”

While we acknowledge the need for some security as a safety net for some in society, we believe that freedom is ennobling and the ability to achieve or fail develops character and is good for all, individually as well as collectively as a society. Consequently, we resist expansion of government power and incursion into, and control over, our lives.

We believe that in a representative republic we have a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, and that our elected officials are beholden to the will of the people to act in our collective best interests, rather than catering or pandering to select groups or special interests. Thomas Jefferson is often quoted saying, “When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.” While the attribution may be in question, the logic isn’t.

We maintain that the Constitution purposefully delineates the limited powers of government in order to maximize individual freedom and liberty. Consequently, we are supportive of the constitutional functions of government, and logical and progressive levels of taxation in order to support them. We support logical, protective regulation, but reject centralized planning and government intrusion into every aspect of our lives at the expense of our liberty.

We are supportive of rational levels of taxation to pay for the services we demand of government, but acknowledge the factual consequences of diminished return the higher taxes are. And as the former Council of Economic Advisors Chairman Christina Romer has proven, for every $1 collected in taxes, there is a diminution of GDP (Gross Domestic Production) output of $3. Taxes, then, should be kept as low as possible to maximize growth of the economy and provide us individually with maximum financial freedom.

We want the economy to grow, not just for the improvement of our station in life, but because we need more than 120,000 new jobs created each month just to keep pace with population expansion. And more than that is needed to start picking up the gap of those who are underemployed, who, based on the Department of Labor’s U6 report, currently stands at 10%.

This kind of job expansion can only occur with a healthy, thriving private sector, that rather than being demonized by Washington and inflicted with senseless regulation and micromanagement by government bureaucrats, is fostered and facilitated by prudent policy and regulation. Ronald Reagan said, “The best welfare program is a job,” to which we would qualify further, a “good job.”

We adhere to fundamental fiscal principles, that the government should be beholden to the same financial restraints that we as individuals are, and that we shouldn’t spend what we don’t have. We maintain that it’s illogical to presume that spending two times more than you receive in income or revenue is sustainable and that believe that unrestrained spending threatens to bankrupt the nation and raze the republic.
We believe in free market economies, not only because they work, but because they afford the most freedom to hard-working Americans. Government can serve a legitimate role in protection of citizens and their property, but should not have power to micromanage our health care, our energy use, or our commercial activities.

Thomas Jefferson succinctly stated, “A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned – this is the sum of good government.” We hold that to be a self-evident truth.

Right now we have a federal government that is neither wise nor frugal, but to that end we strive for a reversal at the national level, and an improvement in state and local government as well. To effect such change, it is imperative that independents consider not just the personalities of presidential and congressional candidates, but the broad principles at the base of their ideologies.

If the republic is to survive as intended, it will be because a majority of the 39% of independent voters decide that it’s worth saving, and vote accordingly. We would invite a thorough examination of the issues and the candidates, and a resolve to make logical, cogent decisions on how to vote that will facilitate a return to common sense governance, and a resurgence of commitment to the principles upon which the nation was founded. America’s founding principles made her great; she can be so again!

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Guest Posts, Pocatello Issues, Politics in General, Presidential Politics | No Comments »

David Ripley: Hillary Clinton’s Declared War on Minority Babies

January 15th, 2016 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

In celebration of Planned Parenthood’s early and passionate embrace of her candidacy, Hillary Clinton immediately responded with a gush of promises to move their agenda forward if she is elected.

Among her commitment: Repeal the Hyde Amendment restriction on using tax dollars to directly pay for abortions.

Here is her quote:

“Any right that requires you to take extra measures to access it is no right at all. Not as long we have laws on the books like the Hyde Amendment making it harder for low income women to exercise their full rights.”

This revelation of Clinton’s radical agenda requires serious reflection because the implications are many.

The first thing we must note is that the Clinton/Planned Parenthood agenda on tax-funding abortions helps reveal the true motives behind President Obama’s drive to impose their “contraceptive” mandate on Americans. The press to impose “free contraceptives” is but the first round in a larger agenda. They want free abortions as well. We see all across the nation a coordinated drive to conflate “abortion rights” with guaranteed access to abortion.

Let’s skip – for a moment – the dark moral consequences of Clinton’s radical position.

Consider the rationality of the Clinton/Planned Parenthood argument: A constitutional right must be obtained for the citizen by the government. This would be akin to arguing that, since the 2nd Amendment guarantees Americans the right to bear arms – the government is required to purchase guns and ammunition for every citizen desiring a weapon, but who feels they cannot afford a firearm and the ammunition necessary to use same. (Imagine the Democrat response to such an absurd demand!)

But, of course, the pro-Life community’s defense of the Hyde Amendment is not based on saving tax dollars. It is based on the obvious fact that taxpayer funding of abortions means more abortions.

So the direct implication of Clinton’s demand for “free abortions” is a substantial increase in the number of abortions occurring in America. That cannot be disputed. That is evil.

We credit Rush Limbaugh for seeing that this policy push by Clinton has even darker practical implications. “Free abortions” means tax funding abortions for poor women through the Medicaid program. A disproportionate share of women on Medicaid are minorities. Thus, one of the unavoidable consequences of Clinton’s cry for more abortions is the destruction of even greater numbers of black and brown babies.

Here is how Rush Limbaugh framed the matter earlier this week:

“Here’s Mrs. Clinton promising free abortions, which is an incentive for Medicaid recipients. Now, if a Republican came out and said this, the first person erupting like a jack-in-the-box would be the Reverend Jackson, followed closely by Al Sharpton. They would both be screaming that this is tantamount to racial genocide, that this Republican is giving away abortions to the poor, and they would say, ‘We all know who the poor are’….”

But here we have the self-anointed champion of minorities pushing for a radical policy change that will actually lead to greater decimation of the black and Hispanic communities in America, and Democrats across the nation applaud. How shameful.

We will take this matter even further: At this point in her career, Hillary Clinton has become indistinguishable from her heroine, Margaret Sanger. Now Mrs. Clinton is too smart to use the hateful rhetoric of the Planned Parenthood founder – which means she is plenty smart enough to know that her rabid support of abortion will achieve the goals articulated many decades ago when Sanger proudly sought to weed out the human race of undesirables.

Sound too harsh? Comparing Hillary Clinton with Margaret Sanger?

Consider this: When Hillary Clinton received the Sanger Award from Planned Parenthood in 2009, Clinton said that she was “in awe” of Planned Parenthood’s founder, Margaret Sanger. And she is much too smart, too educated, not to be fully aware of Margaret Sanger’s contempt for minorities and the poor; or Sanger’s admiration for authoritarians like Hitler and Stalin willing to use their police powers to impose anti-Life policies upon their peoples.

At all hazards, Hillary Clinton must be stopped from following Barack Obama into the White House. Within months, she will make Obama’s awful abortion record look like some kind of pro-Life march.

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Posted in Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Idaho Pro-Life Issues | No Comments »

David Ripley: Cruz Wins Idaho Straw Poll

January 15th, 2016 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

A straw poll was held in Boise this past weekend around the meeting of the Idaho GOP Central Committee. The party hosted a reception on Friday evening, and Texas Senator Ted Cruz won 40% of the votes cast by party leadership. A total of 143 votes were cast.

Marco Rubio came in second, with 18% of the votes cast, followed by Donald Trump at 13%. Ben Carson also finished in double digits (11%).

Following the vote, the Cruz Campaign in Idaho issued a statement, in which State Treasurer Ron Crane said, “Ted Cruz has a proven record of not wavering or ducking the tough battles, and he stands with Idahoans and Idaho values by opposing Washington’s reckless spending and infringement on our rights.”

And just yesterday, Operation Rescue issued a statement stating that the national pro-Life organization will be supporting Ted Cruz for president in upcoming GOP primaries and caucuses. In doing so, OR President Troy Newman argued that Cruz “is the most solid, dependable and trustworthy pro-Life hero running for president. And he can win.”

Idaho will hold its first-ever Presidential Primary on Tuesday, March 8th.

Posted in Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Presidential Politics | No Comments »

David Ripley: Obama Wields Veto Hammer

January 15th, 2016 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The “leader” of the free world wielded his immense authority on Friday to defend not those little babies being chopped up for luxury cars – but the butchers at Planned Parenthood. Their treasury dollars are safe for a few days more.

As the very fiber of our civilization is threatened by harvesting and trafficking in human baby parts, Mr. Obama chose to stand up for those doing the whacking and chopping. Rather than offer this nation authentic leadership at a time of clear moral crisis, Mr. Obama chooses to perpetuate the lie that dismembering babies for cash is somehow essential to protecting women’s health.

Obama’s failure of moral leadership is more than disconcerting. It is a heartbreaking moment in our history.

Yet we refuse despair. In fact, let’s take this opportunity to celebrate the courage displayed by leaders in Congress who pressed through the obstacles of Senate Democrats, overcame the scorn of the nation’s big media, and forced the president’s hand. For the first time, Mr. Obama was forced to stand up in front of the American people and choose. Sadly, he chose death.

We are hopeful that this historic fight over funding is not a defeat – but a milestone on the road to ending our evil partnership with America’s largest abortion chain.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Presidential Politics | No Comments »

Richard Larsen: Making the World a Little Bit Better in 2016

January 15th, 2016 by Halli

By Richard Larsen

In spite of all the challenges and vicissitudes we’re facing domestically and globally this year, and the daunting challenges facing the country and our culture, there is much good that oftentimes escapes our notice. Sometimes as we review the year, both societally as well as personally, it can be a matter of perspective, whether we deem the glass half full, rather than half empty.

Reviewing the significant events of the year, it’s difficult to find the good, through the predominance of the bad. Bad news definitely grabs the headlines and the airtime, so the good news is mostly eclipsed or underreported since they don’t garner the attention-grabbing attributes of the bad.

As any student of history can aver, bad things always happen. There are always some catastrophes happening somewhere, always some acts of nature reminding us of our smallness compared to the powers of mother nature, and bad things happening to good people. And most of the time, there is little that can be done by us to prevent such events. But the weight of such pejoratives mustn’t weigh us down so much that we cannot see the good.

As a matter of fact, there is little any of us can do for issues and events vexing much of the world. But there is always something that we can do in our own homes, in our own neighborhoods, and our own communities.

Throughout the year much good has been done by commoners like us, which reminds us of our shared humanity and membership in the family of man. Not grandiose acts of unbounded magnanimity, but the little acts of kindness, thoughtfulness, and sensitivity to others. After all, not all of us can be as munificent as the Australian woman who left a $4.3 million estate to a charity that serves the homeless in her community.
But we can all do little acts that go a long way, like the Ogden, Utah hair stylist who organized a free haircut day at the local homeless shelter. The tears of joy and appreciation from the beneficiaries brought a sense of accomplishment and gratitude to those who gave of their talents and time to their fellowman in need.

We can “pay it forward,” the beneficent principle of repaying kindness shown to you, by blessing the lives of others, who in turn pay that kindness forward to others. Lily Hardy Hammond, in her book, “In the Garden of Delight,” coined the phrase, and explained, “You don’t pay love back; you pay it forward.” Imagine the delight and joy shared recently by all those involved in a “pay it forward” act that resulted in over 250 McDonalds customers in Lakeland, Florida paying for the car behind them. It all started with one person!

Pictures of a professor at the University of Louisville babysitting the children of one of his students went viral in social media. The student had a babysitter scheduled so she could take her test, but when those plans fell through, she had to take her four and five year old children to take the test with her. The professor entertained and cared for them in the hallway until their mother was through taking the test.

Several local young single adult LDS wards every year pitch their shekels together to help disadvantaged families have a semblance of a Christmas for their children. For these young people, mostly students, the sacrifice is great as they have little to spare themselves, yet they relish their opportunity to share of what little they have, to bring joy to others.

Literally volumes could be written of the little acts of kindness and thoughtfulness rendered just in the past few days alone. And hopefully each of us have our own stories of selflessness to contribute.

And as great as the temporal concerns may be to some amongst us, perhaps the greatest gifts we share are those that have no pecuniary cost, for their value far exceeds monetary numeration. The first of these is kindness, and genuine sensitivity to the concerns and needs of others. It doesn’t cost a dime, and exhibits an alluring selflessness and depth of character.

The former president of the LDS Church, Gordon B. Hinckley made a superb observation when he said, “Generally speaking, the most miserable people I know are those who are obsessed with themselves; the happiest people I know are those who lose themselves in the service of others…By and large, I have come to see that if we complain about life, it is because we are thinking only of ourselves.”

Author Joyce Meyer has said, “If selfishness is the key to being miserable, then selflessness must be the key to being happy.” An altruistic attitude makes it extremely difficult to be egocentric and preoccupied with our own inadequacies. Look to the welfare of others, in love, rather than focusing on our own life challenges. There is no cost in temporal terms to being thoughtful, sensitive, supportive, kind, courteous, and loving to our fellowman.

Another thing that we can each do to make a difference in our homes and communities is an investment of time. Time to visit loved ones, time to serve those who are incapable of serving themselves, time given to worthy causes, time with our children and grandchildren, and time to reflect on what we can do to lessen the load of others.

None of us can do everything, but all of us can do something. If we all would do everything within our power to improve the lives of those within our respective spheres of influence, there is no limit to the good that could be done, the lives that could be touched, and the hearts that could be buoyed up.

The American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr wrote the poignant “Serenity Prayer” nearly a century ago. It includes the petition, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Perhaps rather than obsessing over what we cannot change, we should focus more on what we can. And we can change our attitudes, our commitment to others through kindness, thoughtfulness, and love, as well as time dedicated in service. If we all did that, the impact could well be immeasurable, as we leave our little corner of mortality a little better than how we found it. Come to think of it, that sounds like a noble New Year’s resolution!

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Posted in Family Matters, Guest Posts, Pocatello Issues | No Comments »

David Ripley: Celebrating the Blessings of 2015

January 15th, 2016 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The pro-Life movement saw some significant gains in 2015, victories and progress for which we ought give thanks to the Lord and his generous people.

Here are a few of the blessings:

A recent story on LifeNews.Com reports that pregnancy centers around America helped save some 300,000 babies from abortion in 2015. The number of babies saved by the pro-Life movement is likely much higher – given that many babies are saved through churches, direct personal intervention and private charities not associated with national organizations like Heartbeat International.

The latest available data from the CDC (2012) finds that there was a decline in reported abortions between 2011 and 2012 – by some 31,000. The downward trend is confirmed by an analysis of Planned Parenthood’s 2014 Annual Report, conducted by the American Life League. Planned Parenthood reports that it killed 323,999 babies in 2014, a decline of 3,654 preborn children from its pace of 2013. While that decline may seem modest, Jim Sedlak of ALL notes that this is the smallest number of abortions performed by Planned Parenthood since 2007.

That same report also shows that Planned Parenthood’s claimed client visits declined to 2.5 million, the lowest number of victims since 1998. Overall, PP reports that it provided 11% fewer services in 2014 than it did the year before.

Perhaps most encouraging is the fact that Planned Parenthood received $38 million fewer private donors dollars in 2014 than in 2013. And it is important to note that this drop-off occurred before this year’s shocking revelations about Planned Parenthood’s organ harvesting/trafficking operations.

LifeNews.Com also reports that the number of abortion clinics in America continues its historic decline. Last year alone, another 53 abortuaries closed their doors. In fact, the number of abortion clinics has dropped by some 81% since the high tide year of 1991.

As we’ve noted before, the pro-Life community can also celebrate the first-ever vote by the U.S. Congress to shut-off federal subsidies of Planned Parenthood, which remains the nation’s largest abortion provider. We understand that the House will complete its work on the Reconciliation measure next week and send the final legislation to President Obama. Congressmen are already preparing for an override vote in the weeks ahead.

And here at home, we can rejoice over passage of Idaho’s first law limiting the use of RU-486 in the killing of babies.

This year also saw the marking of Idaho Chooses Life’s 20th year in the battle to end abortion. We are most grateful for those friends and supporters who have so faithfully sustained us over these two decades.

We look forward with hope and courage to 2016 because of our faith in a merciful Lord – who will certainly end abortion and the terror it represents to women, babies and families. We look for new victories in 2016, and we ask the Lord to richly bless your family and the great state of Idaho in this important election year.

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Posted in Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Taxes | No Comments »

David Ripley: Top Pro-Life Story of 2015

January 15th, 2016 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Without doubt, the most important development of 2015 was the expose of Planned Parenthood’s dark trafficking in baby organs and tissue. The revelation was so disturbing that even the Congress determined it had to take action. While the federal government continues to fund America’s largest Death Chain, we believe the handwriting is on the wall: With the election of even the worst Republican presidential candidate next year, Planned Parenthood’s days of massive subsidy from the American taxpayer are numbered. After all, for the first time in history, both chambers of the U.S. Congress voted to defund the organization.

Congressional committees are just beginning their investigation into the dark empire that is Planned Parenthood. And even the Inspector General at the Department of Health & Human Services recently announced he will conduct a thorough audit of Planned Parenthood’s operations and its compliance with federal law governing organ harvesting and trafficking.

As we’ve written before, it is more than understandable that the nation is shocked by the film of abortionists sitting around eating salad while discussing the crushing of innocent preborn human children. This is the darkness to which legalized abortion has delivered us. But, of course, the real tragedy, the real cause for heartache, is the wanton destruction of those tiny babies in the first place. The evil harvesting of their organs for profit merely draws attention to the moral corruption we are suffering.

And those videos present America with a moment of profound decision: Is this the kind of society in which we wish to live? Are we prepared to tolerate the macabre mutilation of human beings for exploitation by those more powerful and wealthy? We pray not.

The videos have served to undermine Planned Parenthood’s claim that it is a legitimate health care provider. Many Americans – despite the mainstream media’s attempt to bury the story – are now aware that Planned Parenthood is a very dark enterprise, staffed by deeply disturbed people.

As we prepare to enter a new year, we are hopeful that the pro-Life movement can take advantage of the opportunity created by the Center for Medical Progress and their tremendous work at ripping the cover off Planned Parenthood. It is a time for earnest prayer that the Lord will move our nation to a place of repentance.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Idaho Pro-Life Issues | No Comments »

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